tv Your Bottom Line CNN October 1, 2011 6:30am-7:00am PDT
do american schools need to be re-engineered to prepare our kids in science and math? good morning, everyone. i'm christine romans. coming up, sesame street bought to you by the letters stem. elmo is here to explain. plus, is college worth it? bill gates, richard branson, steve jobs, they don't have a college degree. why do you need one? and millions of students are learning math for free from sal con. what you can learn from him. first, the kig talker of the week. hold your kid back from kindergarten at your child's peril. a recent "new york times" op-ed says parents who think they're giving their child an edge holding them back a year from kindergarten may actually set them back. co-wrote the piece and the co-author of "welcome to your child's brain" and she joins us now. good morning, sandra. you say in the long run, 5-year-old kindergartners do
better than 6-year-old kindergartners. why? >> because school makes kids smarter. the experience of being young in class makes kids work harder and as a result they learn more. the kids who are oldest in the class are already doing pretty well and they're not motivated to work as hard. >> there's so many moms and datdads who think this red shirting a sports term, but holding their kid back one year is going to let them mature a little bit. maybe be a little more confident when they head into kindergarten nap is a miscon jepgs you say that's hurting children. parents listening now are saying, should realize, they shouldn't hold their kid back? >> that's right. and the reason is because kids don't learn in a vacuum. people are social learners, and so kids will learn much better if they have older classmates with better social skills and better academic skills to look up to than they will when they're the only people in the class with their level of skill.
>> let's broaden out the discussion a little bit. i want to bring in nick kristoff, a pulitzer prize winner and a professor of education at new york university. gentleman, welcome to the program. this particular story was widely e-mailed. the discussion was interesting. another story i wanted to bring in. research showing kindergarten may be starting too late. consider this quote from "time" magazine, rethinking pre-k. five ways to fix preschool. take two kids, one from low income the other middle class. let them run around in respective homes at age 5 enroll in kindergarten. were the first day of school comes around, the child from the lower income will be 1 1/2 years behind grade level. the middle class kid 1 1/2 years ahead. that's a three-year gap in learning at the very start. are we starting too late? >> in terms of fighting poverty, there is abuntant evidence to address it early on. some evidence, address it
actually in utero with helping mothers -- one of the most helpful projects is a nurse family partnership, which works with mothers while they're expecting. and things like the perry preschool project, another project, terrific results by working intensively with kids very, very early on, as you say, to prepare them for school. and i think we're missing the boat by not doing that. >> a k-12 system. should we be thinking a pre-k through 12 system and thinking about daycare and programs all wrapped up together? >> absolutely. most of the countries that are outperforming the united states have universal access to preschool. one way to level the playing field for children and ensure children don't get set back early. we have a preparation gap had this country that contributes to the disparity we're seeing in achievement and we could address that through quality access to early childhood easy'd education. >> some say we pay twice as much
poor student. talking about the government spending more money, but it's how you smartly spend money. it's spending the right money in the right places to save money later on? >> yeah. >> and some of the study, some of the kids in the perry preschool project have been followed for decades afterward and randomly assigned to it, others assigned randomly to it. those who got that kind of attention saved the government money, because you had less incarceration, lower teen pregnancy rates. much better educational outcomes. i mean, sure, there's an initial -- >> socialist scandinavia. this is america. >> but, boy, if you want to try to fight poverty, you just can't wait until age 6. >> a lot of parents think they're doing the right thing keeping their kids home from preschool. an issue so widely talked about. i was surprised how this caught a lot of people's attention i. think, though, we should keep in mind that children develop at different paces. >> right. >> i have four children. first one walked at 9 months.
the last one didn't walk until 13 months. they're all walking fine now, but they were not the same. so the age is fairly arbitrary. it doesn't mean that all children do things at the same age. we need to be more developmentally focused than on the age. >> talking to an educator recently who studies this closely saying multiage, very young age, more important than arbitrary grades. we can talk about that another time. sandra, thank you. we'll tweet out a link to that. it was widely e-mails. nick, pedro, stick around. in this week's installment of "is college worth it," how about, it isn't? high pro stefile examples to bat up. and warm and fuzzy. all about math and science this season. elmo here to talk about "sesame street's" latest mission.ht s everywhere who trust duracell. so, look for these special packs
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get good grades and get a degree your success in life is guaranteed. that might have been true 50 years ago. it is no longer true today. michael, welcome to the program. >> great to be here. >> you talked to successful people. millionaires who did not have a college degree. why did they succeed? >> they succeeded because they learned street smart skills. practical success skills, and so what i'm talking about in my book, the gentlemen who are here to talk before were talking how to get young kids out of poverty, which is an important dialogue. i'm talking about a different side of equation, which is is how to create job creators, how to make young people who will go on to build businesses and create jobs. >> what's their common denominator? the people you spent all of this time talking to, what is it about them that makes them that successful without a college degree, without a traditional path? >> the commitment to go out and do it without the right check mark, without the right check cards on their resumes.
they want to create wealth for themself and their employees, whatever it takes. >> do they deny conventional wisdom? >> absolutely. everyone i interviewed is a rebel, thinks ots of the box. to be an entrepreneur, that's the price of admission. to be thinking out of the box. >> nick and pedro are still with me. i want to show the numbers to nick. numbers don't lie. not everyone can be bill gates. look at the chart. a higher education pays off. and your pay increases with further degrees. so when you look at how -- these are numbers from the bls. weekly earnings for people with a higher advanced degree are double the average. in fact, people with advanced degrees are the only group that managed to see their wealth grow over the past ten years. so more than a few people have told me in this whole discussion, is college worth it, that it's hurting people to say that. it is the first point of entry for society. >> i mean, i think not only is college worth it, and not only
it increases your incomes, it also, a lot of studies show it increases your happiness. it makes you more likely to live longer. one recent study in the american journal of public health said 245,000 people die a year because they didn't get enough of an education. and it distresses me we look around the world and the u.s. used to be top in terms of college graduation, now we're 16. and asia in particular has really vaulted over us in college graduation rates. >> we like to look at the millionaire, billionaires, the bill gates of the world and richard bransons and say, that could be me. the fact is, are we giving the kids the stuff they need to get to that point? that's kind of the question. >> and there's no magic formula, and michael is absolutely right. street smarts matter. there are a lot of things that go into this, but if the -- it's also crucial that kids not only get early childhood education, we talking about earlier, also get that kind of tertiary
education. it's important for the country. >> if any of my boys show soin signs of zuckerberg, i'll let them drop out of school. for right now, just trying to get them through school. the biggest thing you won't learn in college, how to be successful. college is the key, but you have to wack throulk through the doo start going down the path? >> balance. investing in your college education is important and it's important to get work experience. we should encourage young people to get experience early, even in high school. it doesn't -- not simply distributing newspapers. it's internships that give you the exposure to the world at work, because so much of what you need to learn in the work setting you don't learn in college. so we need to bridge that gap as well. i think it's a mistake to look at exceptions and say, well, i, too, could be a bill gates. we should learn from their experiences but should not model our society on the idea we don't need a college degree. >> i have no doubt you could be a bill gates.
how does the rest of the world see us? you spend so much time in the tiger countries. do they think those discussions of college, is it worth it? they must think we're nuts. >> they do. especially in the confusion belt of china, hong kong, korea. there is a passion for education and parents pour their soles into getting their kids better educations. they've seen the returns. partly because they built up the human capital. it breaks my heart in this country to see it declining relative to those countries in terms of education. >> fantastic discussion. let's do it again. nice to see you all. have you ever heard had a guy named sal kahn? an mba and two degrees and in math and chemistry and theoretical physics. want a free tutor? he's your man. he's here next. king psyllium fir won't make you a model
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stillwater, minnesota is flipping the day. homework happens at school under the close eye of teachers an the lech hers are at night when kids are at home and locked on. the inspiration, the khan academy that's caught the attention of students, parents, educators, even bill gates. sal khan is the founder. welcome to the program. >> thanks for having me. >> look, i mean, you're a guy with a few different degrees. you are highly educated yourself. you were working, i guess, as a hedge fund. what made you start putting these online tutorials online and you found out that you had a niche here? >> yeah. i was actually tutoring some family members. i was in boston. they moved out to california later and i was tutoring them after work and after a while it got hard for me to tutor all the different family members and friends. so i had a buddy, put your stuff on youtube, and i got -- you know, first i thought youtube was kind of for cats playing the
piano or whatever else. but i decided to give it a shot and a long story short, my cousin said they liked me better on youtube than in person and other people started watching. >> must be students who like you better than their teacher, too, or somehow you're able to connect with them and kids are using this to really augment everything from what, physics to chemistry? we have a video of one of or chemistry tur torials to math. do everything but a french tutori tutorial? >> basic arithmetic to college level math and science. a lot of finance and economics and it's for multiple types 6 students. some people are people my age and leaving the military, and want to go back to college. they use it that way. some people, maybe -- a student has a great teacher but were gone, they were sick the three lick chers where they set up the class. they can go to khan academy for that. home school, the videos and exercises now. all of the above.
>> tell me about an idea of flipping the school day. a few districts tried this. we mentioned stillwater, minnesota. doing homework under the eye of a watchful professional and at home getting just the material delivered to them. >> yeah. you know, we talk about flipping the classroom. do that as an intermediary step. the ideal is everyone starts to work at their own pace. in a traditional classroom kids spend -- watching a lecture. they might be bored or lost. go home and are supposed to do the problem. that's where the real learning takes place. most students don't have a sibling, parent or totutor. especially mathematics. you can pause, repeat it. i think that's why they like me better than in person. when they go to class, they have their teacher to help and their peers. if you teach something, you learn it better. the teacher gets to see how the class is doing before that exam
a couple weeks later. >> i guess you are the epitome of stem. we talk about it on this program, science, technology, engineering and math and can do better getting kids up to speed. it's the future of jobs and of innovation. does s.t.e.m. have a branding problem? how do we make it cool to be interested in chemistry and engineering and math and the things that are going to drive the country? >> yeah. as you mentioned, it's where the growth sand more broadly created where all the growth is. anything that is process driven, those things are getting automated. the real jobs are were you're creating new things. i think the branding problem with s.t.e.m. is, people think they're not creative jobs. ask a kid, want to be a dance e, artist, absolutely. that's creative. engineering, it isn't viewed, call it creationneering. you get to define what% looks like or how people interact.
>> all right. >> i have four. >> four degrees, wow. thanks. elmo has done it again. he and the folks at sesame street actually getting kids excited about math and science. our good friend, elmo, is here to tell us about it, next. only& superpages®. online. on your phone. or in the book. go to superpages®. and let the good guys save the day. ♪ [ dog barks ] [ birds chirping ] ♪ [ mechanical breathing ] [ engine turns over ] ♪ [ male announcer ] the all-new volkswagen passat. a new force in the midsize category.
not to answer the questions thai kidsq have, but identities calld let's find çóout, right? >> let's find out, exactly. >> tell us about technology and howñi that's helping with this, too. little kids know how to oo use -- maybe youq do or don't, elmo, an ipad or cell phones or computers. help in this whole process. >> it absolutely can. it's very appealing to kids. what we learn is that technology isn't just the ipads or cell phones.fá it's also everyday objects. it can be a lever, right? a fork can be a lever and -- >>t( a whole song i remember. >> that's right, a wholeçó song. >>xd musical. >> you also have some cool experiments with some of your new friends. >> yes. >>ñi cool people like actor jam morrison,t( 9n
"saturday night ymlive." whoa, what was your favorite experiment? >> there'[3 so manyñi of them. >> what was the one with robin williams?ym >> robin williams, youlxnearn balance fromó[ robin williams emma stone. >> and you got to go into at( recording studio with someone like justinq bieber, right? >> yes. >> and what did it have to do with shrimp, i'm told? >> he wase1 measuring a shrimp d an elephant. >> look at that. oh, heé@?; does look likeçó j bieber. what canfáok people do to get t kids excited about jfs.t.e.m.? >> it's wonderful for preschoolers. when kids ask questions, engage with your kids, you know, do the -- answerr don't answer the questions, but experiment and test and find out
wha4awbuz answers are foñor yourself. >> elmo, what are you going to learn this year? >> everything. >>q you're 3 1/2. >> elmo can't wait. elmo wants to learn about everything. >> you want to be excited about everything. >> yeah. it's important. you know what? 1z>> you do? >> yeah, because elmo knows how important they are. >> oh, elmo, we think you're so precocious. >> really? that's a big word. >> that's a big word. >> maybe next year we'll learn that one. >> elmo, it's wonderful to see you. can i have a kiss, please? >> oh, thanks, elmo. >> thanks for having us. >> nice to have you, too. and everybody remember, this episode has beenñi brought toou by s.t.e.m., science, t( technology, education ask math. you can find me at christine romans. have a great weekend, everybody. thanks for coming, elmo. bye-bye. >> your bottom line.xdlpfá ♪ñi this shri